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National Library of Medicine's "Virtual" Asthma Exhibit Travels to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for World Asthma Day Celebration

May 7, 2002 is the fourth annual World Asthma Day. Recognizing that asthma remains a prevalent disease and a major public health problem in the United States and throughout the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will mark the day by debuting and demonstrating NLM's novel new virtual DVD exhibit on asthma, "Breath of Life."

Faced with widespread public interest in its 6,000 square foot exhibition on asthma that closed recently on the National Institutes of Health campus, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) decided to take the exhibit on the road -- with a high-tech twist. The complete exhibit was put on a DVD disk, using the latest technology pioneered by the NLM. Anyone with a DVD player and a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive can now view the exhibit. The disc contains more than two hours of full-screen, full-motion video, graphics, audio, and animations, as well as open captioning for the hearing impaired. Now everyone can "tour" the Breath of Life exhibit.

The contents of the Breath of Life DVD are lively and varied. We hear three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee describe her experiences with asthma. We delve into the history of asthma, learning how therapies have evolved through the years. (Incredibly, tobacco, cocaine and opium were once popular asthma treatments.) We watch what happens to the lungs during an asthma attack and learn how to use an inhaler correctly. We follow the experiences of a young girl with asthma, and see its effects on her and her family. We learn about asthma research trends. To view a five-minute overview of the DVD, click on one of the links to the right of the Breath of Life image.

Breath of Life DVD logo QuickTime 44 kbps (for modem)
QuickTime 250 kbps (for DSL, cable and faster)

"Asthma can be managed properly only when the patient and his family understand the nature of this disease," notes Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. "Now everyone, including asthma patients, parents, health professionals, and teachers, can learn more about asthma in an entertaining and informal way, in the comfort of their own home, office or school."

The DVD exhibition will make its debut at the CDC Museum Auditorium, Roybal Campus, 1600 Clifton Road, in Atlanta, Georgia. Martha Katz, CDC's Deputy Director for Policy, and Richard J. Jackson, MD, Director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, will demonstrate this unique technology at CDC's -- Tuesday, May 7, 2002 at 10:30 a.m. -- World Asthma Day ceremonies.

To view enlarged photographs of the May 7th World Asthma Day ceremonies, click on the photographs below to open them in a new window.

Ms. Martha Katz and Dr. Richard Jackson
Ms. Martha Katz Asthma Poster Contest winner

To order a copy of the DVD, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's online catalog at: .

(Download the free QuickTime player at